The Quarter-Life Crisis of Loneliness

I keep finding myself stifled by the company of others and then crippled by loneliness when I leave them.

Veronica Roth


My admiration for Veronica Roth is endless. Truly. I don’t think I could relate more to a quote, though. Other than Eat n’ Park’s little slogan, “Eat n’ Park’s the place for smiles!” Because who is heartless enough to not smile from a basket of plain fries and a literal bowl of their homemade ranch? Woof. City. *unattractively drools on self in public*

Do you know how I’ve been going through these posts, talking about how you should un-apologetically be your own person? This radiant, confident person? Like most days, I’m struggling to follow my own advice. It’s what I’m best at; driving the struggle bus of following ones own advice. I’m so good at it that it made a spot on my resume under “Special Skills”. Also, it’s a cold and rainy Saturday that I’m writing this and the high temperature is 51º. Mother Nature, get your shit together; It’s May and we only have capacity for one person to be off their shit in a day, and I call dibs today.

So, loneliness. What a tricky topic. It’s sometimes difficult to even understand this feeling. Often times we can be surrounded by a multitude of people and still feel lonely enough to shut everything out. Even when we’re around our best friends or significant others, we can still feel achingly lonely. Granted, it happens less if you are around your favorite humans, but still. It can and will happen.

Loneliness makes its way into my life when I compare myself to others. Usually when I’m by myself and even when I’m with someone else. I’m unconditionally and unfortunately always comparing myself to others which is one sickening habit; definitely worse than biting your nails. I know this because I’ve been biting my nails since I was all of six years old. I compare myself to the others walking along the streets of Pittsburgh, huddled next to their friend/significant other under one umbrella; together inside a cafe or bar or sports game; really, anywhere in the general public. Constantly observing people can be one relentless bitch at times.

Unlike falling behind on your favorite television show where you can DVR it and binge, you can’t DVR togetherness.

If you fall behind on togetherness, it’s significantly harder to be less lonely. In the dating community, both straight and gay, we have apps that act like quick remedies to this loneliness epidemic; Grindr, Tinder, etc. I will readily admit to using both of those apps! And that’s okay. Don’t be ashamed of needing a little help talking to people, or if you need to boost your togetherness, go ahead and go meet up with someone you connect with on those apps at a coffee shop, go see a movie, or go grab a brew (although Old Fashioned’s are my preference).

Always be cautious, though. There are some creepos in this world. My best word of advice for those types of apps? Be choosy but be open. It sounds like a complete asshole move, but what can be even more destructive to your need for togetherness is meeting a person you feel to be frivolous. Who am I kidding, though? We’ve all been desperate before. *shrug*. Just know, those frivolous meetups will leave you more hurt and lonely than being choosy and meeting someone you think would both feed your soul and be the cure for loneliness.

There are definitely different types of loneliness, too.

What about all those times you just wanted to talk to someone? Go on a date, sit in a dark movie theater and enjoy that silence with someone else? Netflix and Chill? Sure, that too. Except in today’s unfortunate frugally physical society we tend to confuse soulful loneliness to physical loneliness.

Anyone that has ever experienced emotional and physical togetherness will eventually realize which type of loneliness they are feeling. Why do you think there is such a culture as ‘hookup culture’? To feed our desire for physical togetherness. It’s a human desire, and I am readily admitting I have been in that state of physical loneliness many times before. More often than not, it’s always ended up me feeling worse for wear than how I was before. My personal opinion, and it took me a couple years to realize this, but this hookup culture that is indiscriminate through all sexual orientations, is exhausting. For some, it works. That’s okay. But for me? It doesn’t quite do it.

I think loneliness is a virus, one that damages someone’s soul enough to create emotional scars. 

And I’m feeling soulfully lonely. It could take years, forever even, to find someone that cures this lack of soulful togetherness. I find that it’s the one thing we all, as humans, should look for in a significant other. Someone we can equally give and gain from. Not monetarily, but emotionally. Just like Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock wrote, It takes two to make a thing go riiight. What they didn’t tell you, though, is that it also takes two to genuinely F U C K | Y O U R | D A Y | U P.

And by day, I mean many days and many nights of destructive and scarring soulful loneliness.

I’m completely impatient with loneliness and finding the cure for my soul-scars, but I know someone’s out there, somewhere, and one day we both can help each other be mended.

Just like Veronica Roth has told us: “We can be mended.”

Song: Oh Woman Oh Man, London Grammar

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